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Why must everything be such a fucking battle <sob>

(50 Posts)
BrokenByA3YearOld Wed 24-Jun-15 22:20:16

DC3 is just turned 3yo. And for at least 12 months everything has been such a fucking battle between me and her. Every bum change, every getting dressed, every leaving the house, every meal time, every bed time. every. fucking. thing.

Like she hits and punches me and screams in my ear when I pick her up to (gently and safely) force her into whatever next stage it is we have to do. Because, sorry, but sometimes things are non-negotiable; you have to have a bum change or you have to get out the car.

She's currently refusing to lie down in bed and has been since she woke up an hour ago. When I go up she kicks, hits and screams at me. When I leave her she wails for me.

DH is working away.

This is my third DC, I promise I know what to do and I'm kind and calm while I engage with her.

I know this too shall pass.

It's just so fucking wearing and I want to cry.

<weeps>

scrappydappydoo Wed 24-Jun-15 22:23:33

wine cake wine cake wine
Is there a time when she is calm?
Can you think of any 'compromises' that make her think she's getting her way but she really isn't?

3littlerabbits Wed 24-Jun-15 22:29:05

I have one of these too! Also third child, also 3 yrs! Are you me?! It's exhausting and annoying and frustrating. Mine is extremely cute and adorable but a nightmare at the same time. I try to focus on the cute side when she's in battle mode (nearly always) - not easy. I am also trying to get her down earlier as she seems much worse with even a little bit less sleep.

BrokenByA3YearOld Wed 24-Jun-15 22:31:26

She's calm (and funny and cute and clever) in between each kind of 'transition' IYSWIM - so as long as she's choosing what to do she's fine.

But the minute I try to get her from one thing to another - dirty nappy to clean, pyjamas to clothes, in bath to out of bath, house to car etc etc, she just gives me hell. DH gets it too, but not as often, as extreme (hitting me etc) or as long.

It doesn't matter if I make it a game, or sing a silly song or whatever the fuck.

I've run out of compromises and I'd like to run away now please.

This is my third child. I've been doing this for 9 years. I've had enough now, I'm broken.

3littlerabbits Wed 24-Jun-15 22:34:55

Do you get the won't-get-into-the-buggy tantrum and also the won't-walk-wants-buggy tantrum? I love that one.

BrokenByA3YearOld Wed 24-Jun-15 22:39:05

yup

similar to the don't-want-to-get-in-the-bath/don't-want-to-get-out-the-bath tantrum <weak smile>

3littlerabbits Wed 24-Jun-15 22:45:11

Oh the torture! Is she still refusing to sleep?

BrokenByA3YearOld Wed 24-Jun-15 22:46:11

I think she's gone quiet after 1hr 45

Sorry for the whinging. I'm not good at this bit of parenting sad

I find myself hissing "fuck off!" at the monitor eventually (never at her obviously). Just, you know, stressy isn't it?

BrokenByA3YearOld Wed 24-Jun-15 22:50:04

I've realised that I'm getting kind of 'scared' of her - anticipating World War III whenever I have to do anything with her. She gets away with so much more than the first two DC did.

We need to remove her dummy but I'm just stupidly anxious about dealing with the fall out, particularly when DH is away.

ARGH. Please someone pass me a fucking grip. I'm tired.

3littlerabbits Wed 24-Jun-15 23:02:11

Glad she's gone down - at least you'll get a bit of peace now. I turn away and mouth silent curses too. You are me!

What you said about getting away with more than the older ones sounds familiar here too.

No grip, but have some wine Id join you but mine will be up at 5:30ish, the joy confused

RabbitSaysWoof Wed 24-Jun-15 23:23:41

My sympathies, I get this boundary pushing in bursts usually last a couple of weeks in this house but when we're in the middle of it its so draining.

Forgive me if you already do these things but these are a few things I've found help me during these weeks (mostly to do with getting out of the house with less stress)
I give better notice when we are changing the situation so ds doesn't start anything that will be frustrating to leave.
I offer a choice when I can to distract from the fact I'm telling him what we are doing, eg 'do you want trainers or wellies on? because we are walking the dog now' often makes him take the second bit in he's stride more because he's deciding something or when we leave the park, 'are you going to walk home now or ride your bike?' rather than 'come on time to go'.
We have a thousand tote bags in my house I sometimes give him one 10ish mins before we're due to leave the house, to choose the toys he's taking out with us, he loses sight of the fact he'd rather stay put and gets into packing for the occasion.
On a work day when I need him out earlier I take hes clothes and a loaded toothbrush up to hes room when he first gets out of bed so he cant be distracted with toys or pissing around with something to stall going out, hes totally ready in 5 mins instead of 35 he just has to have a dryish breakfast that day like crumpets or something.
Occasionally I've noticed that I've given too many chances and thats been a part of the problem, like I ask him to do something eg give back a toy hes been borrowing, I would say 'Sam wants the car back now'......'can you give Sam's car back please'......'DS, please give the toy back Sam wants it' ...... it just goes on and on, but when he's like this I have to just consciously be decisive rather than suggesting he does the right thing, because he knows he can long everything out ignoring me and gets more attention for being awkward that way so I have to first ask him, then tell him firmly, then just take the thing and give it back myself (or whatever action would move the day along).
I don't go back on things and give in if I've said he needs to do something or cant do something (I just have to ignore the tantrum), but I don't even ask him to do things in the first place that I can't be arssed standing my ground on, because I know it will come to that during those times and it's too bloody exhausting insisting on things all of the time and riding the strop on things that are not that important, so I lower my expectations without giving into tantrums.

When you pick your dd up could you try to do it with her facing outwards more so it's more awkward for her to hit out in your direction?
Would pull ups help to stand her up quicker after a bum clean? or maybe to lay her sideways to not kick directly at you?

BrokenByA3YearOld Wed 24-Jun-15 23:46:58

thank you 3littlerabbits flowers

and thank you RabbitSaysWoof flowers

Woof, a lot of what you say is familiar to me - I used to work with adults with LD and challenging behaviours so I do understand about managing expectations, cueing in to the next activity and physically changing the way I do things to make it safe.

I give too much notice before I do things because I'm dreading it.

I do the choice thing, 'do you want to have your bum changed on the mat or on the sofa that you don't want to get off?' -IT USED TO WORK SO WELL FOR THE OTHER KIDS!

My degrees are in psychology/related subjects and I used to watch House of Tiny Tearaways religiously if that counts for anything! I read the books, I join the forums, I research smile

But I love your suggestion of the tote bags and I know that I'm so scared of facing the consequences that I give her more chances to get it 'right' than I should. (or than the older ones ever got)

My mum also reminded me to pick her up facing away, that's an excellent point that I forget to do.

Thank you again, this helps.

I think I'm at a low ebb.

Rasell Wed 24-Jun-15 23:54:27

No advice I'm afraid, just a big hug to you. What a struggle they can be. I hope it's a phase that soon passes xx

BrokenByA3YearOld Thu 25-Jun-15 00:07:40

thank you Rasell sad

yes, you're right, of course it's a phase. And of course there will be other phases, it would be foolish to think there wouldn't be. (fucking hell)

MI5agent Thu 25-Jun-15 06:09:10

Sorry you're suffering with this op I think we've all been there.

I agree with all the others up thread, some great suggestions too.

I was going to add, and sorry if this is obvious or patronising, but don't forget to have fun and be silly. Dd was very much like you description only we're 12 months ahead, and there is a small light in the distance.
Similar to up thread, choice, warnings, distraction etc work but actually what I found most effective was my attitude towards her. So, let's have a race to see who can get dressed the quickest / can you beat daddy cleaning his teeth / let's hide when daddy is in the shower. A little fun and silliness calmed me down a bit as, like you, I was dreading everything and dreading the next tantrum.

I also went with consequence of their action and constantly explained that. So, I want to pour my milk on my cereal. Fine, if it spills you will have to clear it up. It would spill, I want hand her the cloth.

We always said we wouldn't do it but do do this, we remove favourite things with really bad behaviour and give her warnings prior to this. Dd loves her stories at bedtime so we do about 3. If there is poor behaviour, she looses a story. If there is good behaviour, she might get 4. We've gone to bed many times none as the warnings and removal of books hasn't worked. She's sad about it but we reinforce that it was her choice to behave the way she did.

I say all of this and still, sometimes, it is a struggle so I return to the mantra that 'this too shall pass' and continue to read threads like this one in the hope that I will pick up some miracle trick, or at least feel like I'm not the only one in the world with a devil child blush grin

MI5agent Thu 25-Jun-15 06:16:14

Sorry, above post was long but also thought of the silly/fun bit of advice. We have "dd and mummy day" and she has the choice to do what she wants only there is good behaviour. We also talk talk talk about the tantrum and us 'falling out' afterwards (when she's calmed a little). I always say I don't like falling out with her and that I love her lots. I tell her how happy I am when she's really good too. Sometimes ott with the praise especially when I can't be arsed too and the praising of the good little things works over time.

Excuse my typos on my first post, I have fat fingers on my shitty old iPhone and I never scroll back to re read my posts grin

Newquay Thu 25-Jun-15 06:51:53

Hugs from over here. You must be exhausted. I'm like that with dc2 of 3.5. I so get the feeling of being 'scared': my shoulders go tense etc. I almost feel a sore throat coming on I fear it so much. a girl I met had an idea which worked - but very difficult (for me anyway) to do. When her 3 year old played up she would say suddenly 'do u want a hug??' - I tried it and it acts to kind of release all my pent up tension (as I am thinking about love and hugs) and sometimes leads to my son saying something adorable like 'yes! That is why I won't put my shoes on because I want a hug!' And then we hug and for a moment it all kind of 'resets' itself. I just find it so hard to keep on top of remembering to give warnings etc. excellent advice in this thread. This too will pass this too will pass smile xxxx

MI5agent Thu 25-Jun-15 07:23:21

Yes newquay I've done the 'do you want a hug' tact and that has effective results too. Although you don't always feel like asking it or hugging them as they've been so frustrating for however long you've been dealing with the tantrum, but sometimes it does "reset" things and gives you the chance to start again.

BrokenByA3YearOld Thu 25-Jun-15 08:37:09

currently trying to get out the house for the school run. She is refusing to get her clothes on, kicking and hitting me.

I took her to the time out step, which usually changes her attitude, but this time she's refusing to get off the step so I've forcibly put her t shirt and socks on. It's going to be a fight to get into the car and she may be going in to nursery half dress.

AAAAAAAAAARGH

Sorry, I'll read the replies once I get home.

FFS

madamginger Thu 25-Jun-15 09:00:40

My dc3 was just like this. I remember crying at dh saying I wish we'd never had him blushsad
He's nearly 5 and off to school in September and although we still have issues its a lot better than it was and the hitting and scratching has stopped thank god

3littlerabbits Thu 25-Jun-15 09:02:53

Oh no, not fun. Mine was actually in a great mood this morning for once - she went to sleep 15 mins early so I'm sticking with my more sleep theory (when she allows it of course).
It's so painful when you you need to get out to work and they won't move. Sympathy. Love the hug idea, I'm going to try that next time. And the silliness too. I do think sometimes I am too ready for the battle and need to get on her side (or something like that)

Hugs to you Broken, we are all here and we know what it's like.

3littlerabbits Thu 25-Jun-15 09:04:15

Although I'm sure mine is much worse than everyone else's....

BrokenByA3YearOld Thu 25-Jun-15 09:11:53

<weep>

that was fucking horrible

plannedshock Thu 25-Jun-15 09:13:44

Read some of my posts. My dd is exactly like this. Yep you know it won't last forever and yep you know one day you will wish you could still have them as babies but it doesn't stop you wanting to scream "what the fuck is your problem you tiny dick head!!!?!?!" (Not done it to her face obvs ��)
The thing that helps me is thinking we all have them it's nothing your personally doing wrong or her hating you. She's just a bit of a douche bag.

mummytime Thu 25-Jun-15 09:30:14

Okay my advice (but my third was my easy child):

Do the star chart for you thing - so you have a star chart, and note on it whenever you praise her. The aim is you give her praise at least 10 times a day, it is your responsibility to find something to praise. (It works because you give attention for good behaviour, and you notice some "good" behaviour).

Decide what really is non negotiable. If possible have DP look after her, go out for a coffee/tea and write a list, then go back over the list for anything you can cross off. Be ruthless, does it really matter if she does the school run in PJs? (Have no shame).

Work on strategies for each of the non-negotiables. Alternatives "blue or pink socks". Make it a game "can Mummy get dressed faster than you?" Broken record.
Ask friends and relatives for ideas - try anything -even if it would never have worked on the others.

Make sure you have some "you time". Work is good for this, or the Gym, or a coffee, or book group or... Mother's cannot stay sane if they are with a 3 year old 24/7. And enjoy your time away.

Try to have some fun time with her. Buy gallons of bubble mix if necessary.

Oh one child at DS's nursery did go to nursery in PJs once - I don't think he made a fuss about getting dressed again. (And DD took 1/2 hour to put on her socks - I would never allow enough time for this.)

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